The Stella Prize longlist was announced on February 8th in Melbourne with a list of impressive titles.
Named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin (who, by the way, pretended to be a man to have her book, My Brilliant Career, published in 1901) The Stella Prize aims to:
- recognise and celebrate Australian women writers’ contribution to literature
- bring more readers to books by women and thus increase their sales
- equip young readers with the skills to question gender disparities and challenge stereotypes, and help girls find their voice
- reward one writer with a $50,000 prize – money that buys a writer some measure of financial independence and thus time, that most undervalued yet necessary commodity for women, to focus on their writing
Noting the calibre of books from small publishers and the effort publishers and designers invest to make “books attractive to read and hold in our hands” the judges report also reflected on the diversity of books entered this year.
“Our longlist challenges the reader to experience the pleasures of reading different forms of writing: speculative fiction, novella, memoir, biography, non-narrative nonfiction, history, short stories and work in translation. Included on the longlist are authors who have inverted genres through imaginative and subversive literary techniques and by incorporating traditional storytelling practices of mythology and magic realism. Reflected also is the power of contemporary Aboriginal storytelling as well as the truly international life experiences of our writers”
For the full judges report see www.thestellaprize.com.au/prize/2018-prize/